Manage customer accounts with the Storefront API

You can create customers and update customer accounts using the Storefront API.

This tutorial covers how to create and activate a customer, and generate a customer access token. It also shows you how to accomplish common tasks like associating an address with a customer and recovering a customer's password.

Requirements

Create a customer

You create a customer using the customerCreate mutation. You can use this mutation to create a sign-up form on your storefront that, when completed, provides the customer with an account on the Shopify store.

If the mutation is successful, then a welcome email is sent to the customer with the information that their account has been activated.

POST /api/2021-07/graphql.json

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JSON response

Activate a customer

The customerCreate mutation triggers an account activation email to be sent to the customer. The email includes an account activation link to Shopify where the customer can activate their account. You can use the link's activation URL to activate the customer.

If you pass an existing customer to customerCreate, then the mutation returns the following error:

In this case, the customer account already exists, but it's disabled and needs to be activated.

If your app is a custom storefront, then you can update the merchant's notification templates to link to the area of your app where the customer creates a password. You can append the activation URL to the link as a URL parameter.

When your app has the activation URL, you can activate the customer's account by using either the customerActivate mutation or the customerActivateByUrl mutation.

Update the account invite template

You can update the Customer account invite email template so that it links to wherever in your storefront the customer can enter a new password. Include {{ customer.account_activation_url }} as a URL parameter at the end of the link.

  1. From the Shopify admin, go to Settings > Notifications.
  2. In the Customers notifications section, click the Customer account invite email template.
  3. In the template editor, update the Activate your account link to point to your storefront's account activation page.

    Pass the activation URL as a URL parameter by appending ?activation_url={{ customer.account_activation_url }}. For example:

    In the email notifications, the Activate your account link is rendered with the customer's unique password reset URL:

customerActivate mutation

Use the customerActivate mutation to send the customer's new password and an activation token to Shopify. The activation token is included in the account activation URL:

The customerActivate mutation takes the activationToken from the Shopify account activation URL and sends it to Shopify along with the customer's password.

Variables

customerActivateByUrl mutation

You can use the customerActivateByUrl mutation to send the customer's password and activation URL to Shopify. With this method, you don't need to parse the activation URL to extract the activation token.

POST /api/2020-04/graphql.json

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JSON response

The following diagram shows the customer account activation workflow using the customerActivateByUrl mutation:

Diagram showing the flow of activating a customer account

If you're using iOS Universal Links, then the Shopify account activation URL redirects to your native app. The app receives the activation URL as a request parameter.

Create an access token

After the customer account is created on your store, the customer can log in to their account. To log in a customer, you need to exchange their credentials for a customer access token. With an access token, you can query for customer accounts and perform update actions, such as associating an address with the customer.

To create a customer access token, you can use the customerAccessTokenCreate mutation.

Alternatively, if you have a valid Multipass token for a customer, then you can exchange it for a customer access token by using the customerAccessTokenCreateWithMultipass mutation.

customerAccessTokenCreate

You can use the customerAccessTokenCreate mutation to create a customer access token.

POST /api/2021-07/graphql.json

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JSON response

customerAccessTokenCreateWithMultipass

When you redirect a Multipass customer to a store, the customerAccessTokenCreateWithMultipass mutation lets you generate an access token without the customer needing to provide their credentials.

If the customer doesn't exist in Shopify, then a new customer is created with the Multipass credentials.

The following mutation exchanges a Multipass token for a customer access token:

POST /api/2020-04/graphql.json

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JSON response

The following diagram shows the workflow for viewing orders using the customerAccessTokenCreateWithMultipass mutation:

Diagram showing the workflow for viewing orders using customerAccessTokenCreateWithMultipass

The following diagram shows the checkout workflow using the customerAccessTokenCreateWithMultipass mutation:

Diagram showing the checkout workflow using customerAccessTokenCreateWithMultipass

Update an address

When you have a customer access token, you can use it to associate or update an address for the customer.

The following example shows how to use the customerAddressCreate mutation to create a new address for a customer:

POST /api/2021-07/graphql.json

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JSON response

Recover and reset passwords

You can use the customerRecover mutation to implement a password recovery flow on your custom storefront. The mutation requires the customer's email address and is used to send an email with a link to reset the password.

The following mutation recovers the customer's password:

POST /api/2021-07/graphql.json

Variables

In response to a successful mutation, an email is sent with a reset password link. Clicking the link directs the customer to the Shopify account reset URL.

customerReset mutation

If you're using iOS Universal Links, then the redirect URL for the Shopify account reset redirects to your native app. In this case, you can use the customerReset mutation to send the customer's new password and reset token to Shopify. The reset token is included in the account reset redirect URL.

The following mutation takes the reset token from the Shopify account reset URL and sends it to Shopify along with the customer's new password:

POST /api/2021-07/graphql.json

Variables

JSON response

customerResetByUrl mutation

The customerResetByUrl mutation updates a customer's password by identifying the customer by their unique password-reset URL. This is the URL that's generated by the customer.reset_password_url Liquid variable.

The benefit of using customerResetByUrl over customerReset is that you don't need the customer's ID to identify the customer.

To pass the password-reset URL to your storefront, include customer.reset_password_url in the password reset email template.

Update the password reset template

Update the Customer account password reset email template so that it links to wherever in your storefront the customer can enter a new password. Include {{ customer.reset_password_url }} as a URL parameter at the end of the link.

  1. From the Shopify admin, go to Settings > Notifications.
  2. In the Customers notifications section, click Customer account password reset email template.
  3. In the template editor, update the Reset your password link to point to your storefront's password reset page.

    Pass the password reset URL as a URL parameter by appending ?reset_url={{ customer.reset_password_url }}:

    In the email notifications, the Reset your password link is rendered with the customer's unique password reset URL:

Send a password recovery email

To let a customer enter a new password, use the customerRecover mutation to send a password reset email to them:

POST /api/2021-07/graphql.json

Use the reset URL to reset the password

When a customer clicks the password reset link and is directed to your storefront, get the password reset URL from the request parameters.

Use the customerResetByUrl mutation to reset the customer's password. Pass the password reset URL as the resetUrl argument, and the customer's new password as the password argument.

POST /api/2021-07/graphql.json

Variables

JSON response

Next steps